General Mark Milley – who participated in secret phone calls with Chinese military leaders while pledging to not carry out then-President Donald Trump’s orders – revealed he “hesitates” to call China an enemy, insisting he trusts the Chinese Communist Party to be forthright with its military ambitions in remarks unearthed by The National Pulse.
Milley – who used a treasonous backchannel to inform Chinese Communist Party officials that he would alert them ahead of U.S. military actions – divulged his view of the regime while speaking at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) Land Warfare Conference in 2017.
“I would hesitate to call China an enemy. Some would say adversary. Others would say enemy. Some would say hostile. I think they are what the slide implies.”
– General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 2017
The slide referenced by Milley reads: “The Modernisation of Land Forces to Deliver Land Power Decisively in an Era of Constant Competition.”
“They’re a competitor and the competition between the United States and China has a military dimension to it, but that is a far cry and that’s a long leap between that and enemy,” he added, before concluding, “there is a lot of time between now and any time the United States and China would become quote-on-quote an enemy where armed conflict were to be pursued.”
RUSI, an establishment British think-tank, summarized Milley’s speech by noting “China and the United States are competitors, not enemies” in a tweet from the event.
Gen Milley at #RUSILWC; China and the United States are competitors, not enemies. But, that competition does have a military aspect.
— RUSI (@RUSI_org) June 27, 2017
Speaking about his worldview regarding China, Milley admitted “that is a construct, though, that we use, that I use within the United States Army” at the event which he noted had Chinese Communist Party military officers in attendance.
“There’s a lot of commonality, areas of common interest.”
In addition to his rejection of the belief that the Chinese Communist Party is not an enemy of the United States, Milley also reveals he takes the regime “at their word” concerning their military ambitions:
The Chinese military is clearly and unambiguously developing a very modern, capable military. Why are they doing that? The Chinese have their own reasons, but they have clearly published it in unclassified documents. I believe them. I take them at their word. I believe the declaratory policy, that they want to assert themselves and be a co-equal partner with the United States on the global scene and they want to dominate the region in general and assert their historical rights.
The Chinese Communist Party has run influence operations across the United States and Europe for decades, culminating in the bribery of public officials, as well as outright propaganda successes.